We all have our preconceptions about certain car manufacturers. Volkswagens are reliable but expensive. Fiats go wrong a lot. French cars go wrong all the time. Japanese cars are no fun. Fords are a safe option. These ideas persist through time – they stick. Often, there’s not a lot that a car manufacturer can do about their brand image.

That’s true of Volvo. For decades, Sweden’s most famous marque has seemed a bit dull. We all think of Volvos as a little bit boring. The old joke – “boxy but good” – still has value to this day. We see Volvos as boxes on wheels, useful only for carrying goods. That’s not a bad image if you want to exploit that market. Of course, it does limit your marketing strategy somewhat. Not everyone wants a car that they can cram full of stuff.

Volvo has been working hard to convince people that their cars aren’t just storage units. They’ve appointed a new head designer in the recent past. The Swedes have given him the task of jazzing up the Volvo brand. Nobody wants a big rectangular block of a car. That is the old image that became famous for Volvo. We want sleek, elegant vehicles nowadays.

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Volvo’s styling department have improved a lot over the past few years. Today, Volvos are well-designed vehicles with smooth styling. They have a lot in common with the German estate cars that sell in their thousands. A lot of estate customers may go, without thinking, towards a BMW or a Mercedes. That’s due to snobbery and nothing else. As far as looks go, today’s Volvos can compete with any German competitor.

Some may say that Volvo estates can’t compete with the Germans on performance. That may be true, but it’s irrelevant. Nobody needs an executive estate vehicle that goes at two hundred miles an hour. We don’t need F1 technology in our road cars. Let’s all grow up, for goodness sake. A Volvo is the perfect car for a comfortable motorway cruise. That’s what you’ll end up using it for, so why kid yourself? Let’s all stop pretending that we’re Sebastian Vettel and seek out a better alternative.

Volvos have other advantages over their German rivals. They’re more comfortable and just as stylish. Their big selling point is price. A Volvo will be much cheaper than a BMW, Audi or Mercedes. That’s a fact. There are great deals available at Harratts Volvo for any new customers. There’s no need to pay through the nose for a high-quality estate car. A Volvo does everything that a German estate does for a fraction of the price.

It makes me angry when people shrug at Volvo. It’s a dynamic and practical company that offers excellent vehicles. The build quality is fantastic. The performance is great. The ride is comfortable. The practicality is better than anything else. What’s more, the prices are affordable for any customers. The only reason to go German is to turn your nose up at Volvo, and that’s just shallow. The best option is the Swedish one – grab it with both hands.